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Articles by J Volkmann
Total Records ( 2 ) for J Volkmann
  L Timmermann , K. A. M Pauls , K Wieland , R Jech , G Kurlemann , N Sharma , S. S Gill , C. A Haenggeli , S. J Hayflick , P Hogarth , K. L Leenders , P Limousin , C. J Malanga , E Moro , J. L Ostrem , F. J Revilla , P Santens , A Schnitzler , S Tisch , F Valldeoriola , J Vesper , J Volkmann , Woitalla and S. Peker

Neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation encompasses a heterogeneous group of rare neurodegenerative disorders that are characterized by iron accumulation in the brain. Severe generalized dystonia is frequently a prominent symptom and can be very disabling, causing gait impairment, difficulty with speech and swallowing, pain and respiratory distress. Several case reports and one case series have been published concerning therapeutic outcome of pallidal deep brain stimulation in dystonia caused by neurodegeneration with brain iron degeneration, reporting mostly favourable outcomes. However, with case studies, there may be a reporting bias towards favourable outcome. Thus, we undertook this multi-centre retrospective study to gather worldwide experiences with bilateral pallidal deep brain stimulation in patients with neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation. A total of 16 centres contributed 23 patients with confirmed neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation and bilateral pallidal deep brain stimulation. Patient details including gender, age at onset, age at operation, genetic status, magnetic resonance imaging status, history and clinical findings were requested. Data on severity of dystonia (Burke Fahn Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale—Motor Scale, Barry Albright Dystonia Scale), disability (Burke Fahn Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale—Disability Scale), quality of life (subjective global rating from 1 to 10 obtained retrospectively from patient and caregiver) as well as data on supportive therapy, concurrent pharmacotherapy, stimulation settings, adverse events and side effects were collected. Data were collected once preoperatively and at 2–6 and 9–15 months postoperatively. The primary outcome measure was change in severity of dystonia. The mean improvement in severity of dystonia was 28.5% at 2–6 months and 25.7% at 9–15 months. At 9–15 months postoperatively, 66.7% of patients showed an improvement of 20% or more in severity of dystonia, and 31.3% showed an improvement of 20% or more in disability. Global quality of life ratings showed a median improvement of 83.3% at 9–15 months. Severity of dystonia preoperatively and disease duration predicted improvement in severity of dystonia at 2–6 months; this failed to reach significance at 9–15 months. The study confirms that dystonia in neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation improves with bilateral pallidal deep brain stimulation, although this improvement is not as great as the benefit reported in patients with primary generalized dystonias or some other secondary dystonias. The patients with more severe dystonia seem to benefit more. A well-controlled, multi-centre prospective study is necessary to enable evidence-based therapeutic decisions and better predict therapeutic outcomes.

  A Fasano , J Herzog , J Raethjen , F. E. M Rose , M Muthuraman , J Volkmann , D Falk , R Elble and G. Deuschl

Patients with advanced stages of essential tremor frequently exhibit tandem gait ataxia with impaired balance control and imprecise foot placement, resembling patients with a cerebellar deficit. Thalamic deep brain stimulation, a surgical therapy for otherwise intractable cases, has been shown to improve tremor, but its impact on cerebellar-like gait difficulties remains to be elucidated. Eleven patients affected by essential tremor (five females; age 69.8 ± 3.9 years; disease duration 24.4 ± 11.2 years; follow-up after surgery 24.7 ± 20.3 months) were evaluated during the following conditions: stimulation off, stimulation on and supra-therapeutic stimulation. Ten age-matched healthy controls served as the comparison group. Locomotion by patients and controls was assessed with (i) overground gait and tandem gait; (ii) balance-assisted treadmill tandem gait and (iii) unassisted treadmill gait. The two treadmill paradigms were kinematically analysed using a 3D opto-electronic motion analysis system. Established clinical and kinesiological measures of ataxia were computed. During stimulation off, the patients exhibited ataxia in all assessment paradigms, which improved during stimulation on and worsened again during supra-therapeutic stimulation. During over ground tandem gait, patients had more missteps and slower gait velocities during stimulation off and supra-therapeutic stimulation than during stimulation on. During balance-assisted tandem gait, stimulation on reduced the temporospatial variability in foot trajectories to nearly normal values, while highly variable (ataxic) foot trajectories were observed during stimulation off and supra-therapeutic stimulation. During unassisted treadmill gait, stimulation on improved gait stability compared with stimulation off and supra-therapeutic stimulation, as demonstrated by increased gait velocity and ankle rotation. These improvements in ataxia were not a function of reduced tremor in the lower limbs or torso. In conclusion, we demonstrate the impact of thalamic stimulation on gait ataxia in patients with essential tremor with improvement by stimulation on and deterioration by supra-therapeutic stimulation, despite continued control of tremor. Thus, cerebellar dysfunction in these patients can be differentially modulated with optimal versus supra-therapeutic stimulation. The cerebellar movement disorder of essential tremor is due to a typical cerebellar deficit, not to trembling extremities. We hypothesize that deep brain stimulation affects two major regulating circuits: the cortico-thalamo-cortical loop for tremor reduction and the cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathway for ataxia reduction (stimulation on) and ataxia induction (supra-therapeutic stimulation).

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